Homophobia as a major negative factor to health of gays

So today another report is out identifying homophobia as a major negative factor to health of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people. I can think of no other factor that affects our health more than homophobia.

The solution is clear to me. We have alot of educating and fighting back to do. I have worked as an advocate and peer counselor for some 20 years now. So many of the people I have worked with have had mental health issues.
It's no wonder we have seen these problems given the what they have had to endure.

I wrote an editorial about the study released today. You can find it at peace, earth and justice. I am the editor for GLBTQ issues for this progressive website.

See another very personal story I wrote for World AIDS Day: A tale of two gay men, AIDS and Family

Link: Homophobia As a Health Hazard: Report of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association

ABSTRACT from: Homophobia As a Health Hazard

Homophobia, the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuals, is a widespread response to this unfamiliar and previously hidden segment of society. Medical practitioners are not immune to societal prejudice and may reflect learned disdain for gay men and lesbians as patients. Survey evidence suggests that patients perceive this disdain, which alienates them from the medical system. This may reduce utilization of screening modalities, and can result in higher morbidity and mortality from cancers and heart disease.

Research suggests that being gay or lesbian is not genetically or biologically hazardous, but that risk factors are conferred through "homophobic fallout." The medical and psychological effects of homophobia are profound, and can impact the developing self-concept of the youth as well as the adults who recognize a same-sex orientation.

Therefore, homophobia, the socialization of heterosexuals against homosexuals and concomitant conditioning of gays and lesbians against themselves, is a legitimate health hazard. Solutions to homophobia as a health hazard are discussed which would improve the quality of medical care provided to gay men and lesbians, and have a favorable impact on the health and quality of life of this population.

rick barnes
victoria bc

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